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Digital Work Life

Innovator Founder Visa

The Innovator Founder Visa is for start-up entrepreneurs and experienced businesspersons seeking to establish a business in the UK. Applicants do not need to have any specific level of funds to invest in their proposed business, but must have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea, supported by a business plan, which has been approved by an endorsing body.  

Applicants for an Innovator Founder Visa must have generated, or have significantly contributed to, their business idea.  Innovator Founders must also intend to have a key role in the day-to-day management and development of their business.

Innovator Founder visas are valid for 3 years and can lead directly to indefinite leave to remain in the UK at the end of this period.  Innovator Founder Visa applicants can bring their partner and any children under the age of 18 to the UK.

If you are interested in setting up a new business in the UK, or you own an existing UK business, you may also be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa via self-sponsorship, that is by being sponsored by your own UK company.

Requirements for an Innovator Founder Visa

In order to qualify for an Innovator Founder Visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You are at least 18 years old;

  • You have an endorsement letter from an approved UK endorsing body that confirms that:

    • You are a fit and proper person to receive endorsement under the Innovator Founder route;

    • The endorsing body has no concerns over the source of any funds invested into your business;

    • The endorsing body has no reason to believe that you or your business may be the beneficiary of illicit or unexplained wealth;

    • You have a business plan and you either generated or made a significant contribution to the ideas in that business plan;

    • You will have a day-to-day role in carrying out the business plan;

    • You will have at least two Contact point meetings with the endorsing body at regular intervals;

    • You are either the sole founder or an instrumental member of the founding team; and

    • You have an innovative, viable and scalable business venture; 

  • Your endorsement letter was issued not more than 3 months before the date of your Innovator visa application;

  • You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B2 (equivalent to IELTS 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking);

  • If you are outside the UK or have been in the UK for less than 12 months, you have at least £1270 to support yourself, plus £285 for a dependent partner, £315 for a first child and £200 for each additional child;

  • Your application does not fall for refusal on general grounds for refusal;

  • You have provided a TB test certificate, if required.

  • The exact requirements you will need to satisfy may vary depending on the circumstances of your case. You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice at All Immigration. 

Who Is the Innovator Founder Visa Suitable For?

The Innovator Founder Visa is suitable for both start-up entrepreneurs and experienced businesspersons who are looking to set up a business in the UK which is innovative, viable and scalable.  

Generally, applicants will have a new business idea and the business will not already exist. However, it is permissible for an individual to join a business after it has been registered with Companies House, providing the business has not already started trading. Where this occurs, the Home Office will want to be satisfied that the applicant made a significant contribution to the business plan and was not added to an existing business plan primarily for the purpose of facilitating investment. 

Innovator Founders can work on their own as a sole founder, or together as part of a founding team, providing they are an instrumental member of the founding team. The business idea may relate to any sector, provided the idea is sufficiently innovative, viable and scalable and is supported by a business plan. 

 

If you wish to join an already trading business then the Skilled Worker visa may be more appropriate.  If you are a senior manager or specialist employee of an overseas business looking to establish a commercial presence in the UK then you may wish to consider the UK Expansion Worker visa instead. 

Investment Funds Requirement for an Innovator Founder Visa

Innovator Founder Visa applicants do not need to show any specific amount of funds to invest in their proposed business.

However, the requirement to have a ‘viable’ and ‘scalable’ business idea means that, in practice, you will need to demonstrate that you have access to a level of investment funds that is sufficient to set up and grow your business. 

The investment funds requirement for an Innovator Founder Visa is, therefore, a flexible provision that is capable of being satisfied by anyone with a genuine proposal for an innovative business and an appropriate level of funds to deliver it, based on the specific financial needs of their business. 

Innovator Founder Visa Innovative, Viable and Scalable Business Requirement

In order to satisfy the innovative, viable and scalable business requirement for an Innovator Founder Visa, your business idea will need to meet all of the following criteria:

  • Innovation: You must have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage;

  • Viability:  Your business plan must be realistic and achievable based on your available resources and you must have, or be actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run your business;

  • Scalability:  There must be evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.

How ALL Immigration Help 

  • Helping creating Business idea 

  • Developing Business paln 

  • Approaching Endorsment Body 

  • Applying Innovator Founder Visa

  • Finding Investers 

  • Start up incubator program

  • Appling rejected Application

  • Company Formation

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